If Ander Herrera sounds a bit anxious to be out on a football pitch in a competitive match, it’s understandable considering he’s spent much of the season injured and has now been in confinement for three months due to the coronavirus.
During a recent interview with The Athletic, Herrera discussed a number of topics, including his time at Manchester United, his former coaches, and former players. The conversation started with the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder expressing his dissatisfaction with the decision to shutter Ligue 1.
“We do not know what is going to happen. We don’t know if we will play the Champions League or not. We do not know if the government is going to allow us to play in France. This is a mess but we, my family, are in Spain, so we are fine. Lyon and PSG are not in the best situation. They took the decision too soon. I think it was too quick to cancel and finish the league. They could have waited a little bit longer to see what was going to happen, and now we can see with Germany and Spain starting back up and they have even pushed the first games before they were expected to be.”
“We will try our best to prepare by training — probably we will play some friendly games — but it will never be the same (fitness level). It is all we can do; to try to compete between ourselves in training. I agree with the president of Lyon, who said a few weeks ago that the situation is horrible for French teams. It is not fair. But the government decided to finish the league and we have to adapt.”
There’s not a person of sound mind who disagrees with Herrera. The other top four leagues in Europe will all complete their 2019-20 season but for some reason, Ligue 1 decided to cancel its season instead of waiting a few more weeks to have a better understanding of the situation and to see what other league do to keep the players and staff safe.
What the decision means, as Herrera said, is that PSG and Lyon will have to go into the UEFA Champions League, which is expected to resume in August, at a disadvantage. Their opponent will have multiple league games to get back into match fitness while PSG will have to rely on friendlies and two cup finals to find their rhythm. It’s not an ideal situation at all as the club attempts to win its first Champions League title.
If there’s a positive to take from the decision, its that Herrera will likely be fully fit and available for the Champions League as will Neymar Jr. and the rest of the squad.
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